What’s the Latest Development?
Minneapolis-based Miinome is a company that plans to go where possibly no company has gone before: It will connect people who have had their genomes sequenced to marketers, who will in return send ads based on the data within. It’s a members-only service, and those who sign up get to determine what parts of their genome are made available. So, for example, a member with the gene for lactose intolerance could agree to receive targeted promotions for appropriate foods and medications.
What’s the Big Idea?
Although there’s still a ways to go before Miinome and companies like it get off the ground — partially because of the expense involved in data analysis — the amount of DNA information that will be available to them is growing. Due to dropping costs, as many as 250,000 people could have their genomes wholly or partially sequenced this year alone. Miinome co-founder James Ostheimer says that companies like Amazon and Twitter already have the server space and software needed to accommodate those customers. In the future, he believes that people will share DNA the same way they share other bits of themselves: through social media. “[W]e’d like our members to hook up as many feeds as they want to,” he says.
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